Oct. 21, 2013. The public will have an opportunity to hear position statements and have questions answered from candidates for elected office including the offices of Town Council and Mayor at a candidates’ forum to be held in the Blowing Rock School auditorium Oct. 22 from 6-9 p.m. This year’s candidate’s forum promises to be enjoyable and informative with the theme “The Future of Blowing Rock is in Your Hands.”
With that in mind, Blowing Rock School is conducting an essay contest for 5th, 6th 7th and 8th graders on the topic, “What Blowing Rock government means to my future.” Eight finalists will be chosen from the contest and each of these students will get to be Candidate escorts at the Forum. The top three winners of the contest will be announced at the event and awarded prizes. This contest is being sponsored by Blowing Rock News.
The six candidates for the three open town council seats include David Barker, Laurin Carter, Tommy Klutz (incumbent), Doug Matheson (incumbent), Ray Pickett and Sue Sweeting. The two candidates for mayor include incumbent J.B. Lawrence and Dan Phillips.
John Marshall, President Elect and Club Communications Char for the Blowing Rock Rotary Club will serve as forum moderator. John grew up in Atlanta and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas with a BBA majoring in Finance and Accounting and spent his sophomore year attending school in Madrid, Spain. As a retired radio broadcaster, he has experience in radio news and owned radio station WWDM-FM in Columbia, SC. He and his wife Della Marshall, Professor of Social Work at Appalachian State University, are full time residents of the area and live seven miles west of Blowing Rock just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and near the base of Grandfather Mountain.
A portion of the Candidates’ Forum will be dedicated to not only prepared questions but also questions from the audience. Voters attending the forum are encouraged to come prepared with questions about issues affecting our town. Each question will be screened by the Issues and Questions Committee and then presented to candidates by the moderator.
This upcoming forum was created under the auspices of The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Challenge Class of 2007 and is being organized by all of the classes since, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. All members are committed to a series of civic and service activities throughout the year that provide community-wide opportunity to address issues and increase participation in our town.
For voter registration, The Board of Elections is located in the Watauga County Courthouse. Proof of citizenship and residency for a minimum of 30 days is required prior to registration.